TORONTO — Canadian youth say they are more concerned about the health of others than their own amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new survey results from Statistics Canada.
The survey released Friday found that approximately 87 per cent of youth aged 15 to 30 years are very or extremely concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the health of vulnerable people. In contrast, only about 21 per cent of those surveyed said they were concerned about their own health.
In addition, about 86 per cent of respondents said they are very or extremely concerned that COVID-19 will overload Canada’s health care system.
Statistics Canada previously reported a similar pattern of concerns for the Canadian population in April.
The new data also found that less than half of youth between the ages of 15 and 30 are very or extremely concerned about the possibility of civil unrest, with over 65 per cent expressing concern for the world population’s health.
While health and global disorder were concerns among Canada’s youth, they also expressed uneasiness in their immediate environments.
Of those surveyed, 36 per cent said they are concerned about family stress from remaining at home while 34 per cent said they worry about maintaining social ties during the pandemic.
Statistics Canada reported that these results were largely similar between male and female youth. However, females were more likely to report being very or extremely concerned about the ability to co-operate during the crisis than males.
The new survey also found that the majority of youth surveyed are engaging in healthy behaviours including communication, exercise, meditation and food choices to cope with anxiety brought on by the pandemic.
According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s youth represent about one quarter of the country’s population and are more likely to be at risk for poor mental health both prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately nine in 10 youth said they communicate with their friends and family, just over two-thirds reported that they exercise indoors and 62 per cent exercise outdoors to help maintain mental and physical health.
However, Statistics Canada noted that female youth were more likely to engage in these healthy behaviours than males. The survey found that 97 per cent of females compared to 90 per cent of males were more likely to communicate with their friends and family. Similarly, 73 per cent of females said they exercise indoors compared to 59 per cent of males.
Statistics Canada previously reported a similar trend in healthy behaviour for the Canadian population in April.
Statistics Canada developed a new web panel survey to get timely information about how Canadians are coping with COVID-19. More than 4,600 people in the 10 provinces responded to this survey between March 29 and April 3. About 22 per cent of the respondents were youth aged 15 to 30 years old. This release focuses on the most pressing concerns expressed by Canadian youth in that age group regarding the impact of COVID-19 and the kinds of activities they engage in for their mental or physical health.
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